David Coveney

The Motocarro (tuk-tuk)

Santiago tube train - just like line 1 in ParisJust a couple of days ago I was in Santiago, a city with a gleaming underground system purchased from the French. If you want to get a feel for the Santiago Metro, try travelling on line 1 in Paris. The trains are almost identical. The main difference is that the system is much much cleaner, and the stations smarter, in Chile.

And now in Iquitos I’m getting to enjoy using the motocarro which is the key form of transport around here so far as I can tell. Most are made by Honda, and you have to be impressed that a company as prestigious as they are doesn’t feel that such vehicles are beneath them. Could you imagine Mercedes or BMW making them? Or even the C50?

So, in the absence of Mercedes taxis I’m getting to live up to the advice in the Sunscreen Song, to do something that scares me every day.

I hoped that today I’d be able to leave for a lodge in the jungle, but sadly I’ll have to wait another day due to booking requirements. No problem, really. I can chill in Iquitos, read another book, and enjoy the vibe. I’ll also take the opportunity to charge up all my electronics, as electricity has yet to make it to the places I’m going. I daresay the mobile phone won’t work either. It’s kind of been fun answering calls from agents and saying that I didn’t want to talk too long because I was in the Amazon and it was kind of expensive… about 1.50GBP per minute so far as I can see, just to receive a call. Gits! It’s pure profiteering and next time I come here I’m going to buy local SIM cards and start using a non-geographic number in order to receive calls.

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